Marion, North Carolina, is in western North Carolina, near the base of stunning Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and the highest peak in eastern North America. Marion is surrounded by some of North Carolina’s most impressive outdoor recreational treasures. In addition to the Appalachian Mountains, Marion, NC, is just south of Linville Gorge and Caverns, considered the Grand Canyon of North Carolina, and borders Pisgah National Forest with over 10,000 acres of recreation area for camping, hiking, mountain biking, equestrian riding, fishing, hunting, and more.
Marion, NC, is located in McDowell County and is the county seat. The historic McDowell County Courthouse was constructed in 1928 and is part of the Main Street Historic District in downtown Marion. The McDowell County Superior Court and the McDowell County District Court (District 29A) are both held at this location.
Established in 1843, Marion, North Carolina, was named in honor of Revolutionary War officer Francis Marion of South Carolina. Downtown Marion is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, with 11 structures in the historic district, proudly shown during Marion walking tours.
In 2010, Marion was home to 7,838 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Like many other western North Carolina communities, the top industry for the employed population of Marion was manufacturing, followed by educational services and health care. According to the McDowell County Chamber of Commerce, there are 34 major industries in the county, mainly metalworking and machining companies, employing approximately 40% of the labor force. Marion, NC, is home to McDowell Technical Community College, which offers training for manufacturing jobs.
McDowell Hospital in Marion has served residents and visitors of Marion and all of McDowell County for more than 100 years. McDowell Hospital is an acute care facility with a fully staffed emergency department, but persons with acute illnesses or severe personal injuries may be transferred to Mission Hospital in Asheville by the Mountain Area Medical Airlift to the Level II Trauma Center. Mission Hospital has western North Carolina’s only designated Level II Trauma Center, serving western North Carolina residents and visitors who have suffered major injury or trauma, such as a devastating auto or truck accident.
The renowned Livermush Festival is Marion’s most beloved event. The Annual Livermush Festival is filled with music, a cooking contest, Livermush Haiku, Livermush toss, and, of course, Livermush tastings.
Just off Interstate 40, Marion is approximately 35 miles east of Asheville; Interstate 40 is a gateway here to many nearby attractions and recreation activities in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mount Ida is a dominant feature in the landscape of Historic Downtown Marion. When driving along North Main Street in Marion, NC, Mount Ida welcomes residents and visitors to the numerous outdoor recreational opportunities available just outside the city limits. Surrounded by mountains and forests that convey a sense of peace and tranquility, Marion, North Carolina, is a community bursting with civic pride amid the area’s majestic beauty.